They’re there for us at the beginning of our lives, and the end. They care of us when we’re sick, in recovery or when we’re healthy, preventing illness before it happens. They’re an emotional support, a physical support – and, in the last year, a line of defence against a deadly pandemic. And today, to mark the first day of National Nursing Care Week, AUPE is giving back the love, compassion, and strength our nursing-care teams show Albertans every day.
Almost 26,000 AUPE members are LPNs, Health-Care Aides (HCAs) and Nursing Attendants – that’s more than a quarter of our big union family, making these workers one of the strongest democratic muscles in Alberta’s labour movement!
Every day, these dedicated employees uplift patients, residents and clients at hospitals and care centres by providing quality care. And then they uplift their coworkers, pushing for the resources they need to build healthier homes and communities outside of their jobs.
Their work is where heart, mind and body meet, so it’s no surprise that nurses seem to effortlessly bring all three to their solidarity. But when a global pandemic demands more physical, mental and emotional strength than ever, this balance is tougher to achieve.
Yes, our nursing-care members are strong, empathetic, resourceful, and caring – they must be to work in the intense industry they’ve chosen. But they’re more than this. They’re everyday people with their own unique stories that makes Alberta the lively, vibrant and diverse place it is. So, in this spirit, we not only want to thank you, our nursing-care friends, for your dedication to Albertans during this tumultuous time, but we also want to celebrate you for what we don’t see or read in the papers, remembering all the personal sacrifices you’ve made in the last year.
We think what truly makes you heroic is your humanity – your ability to care for a stranger, and then return home to support your closest loved ones; your capacity to work a 12-hour shift, and still be an active citizen, friend, relative and community member. Supporting others is second nature to you, so this week, and every week, we want to nurture the time you give yourselves, because you deserve the same attentiveness you provide.
How can you help?
While our nursing-care family are fighting acute cases of illness in Alberta’s health centres, help them fight the chronic sicknesses that plague our healthcare system. Corporatization of care and the government’s incessant attempts to devalue the work of doctors, nursing-care teams and general support staff hurt everyone – join our campaigns to stop these attacks:
- Sign the petition demanding Health Minister Tyler Shandro resign for mishandling the pandemic;
- Sign the letter demanding that CapitalCare and Carewest remain public institutions that put quality care first and never pander to the profit motive;
- And follow AUPE on Facebook to read stories about the work nurses are doing every day and to see the latest actions AUPE members are launching in defence of a fairer healthcare system.